Monday, February 9, 2009
Attraignnor IV Campaign: Turn 6
With the fall of the Imperial Fists librarian to Tzeentch, as with the corruption of all the Imperial Fists on Attraignnor IV, the Dark Gods began whispering to their followers, calling them towards the doomed planet. Most who answered the call were small warbands and would quickly fall under the sway of the charismatic Captain Ferranus. The palace grounds were given to the great Tzeentchian Daemon Lords Cyclonius Du Mer of the Alpha Legion, and the Dreadnought Ancient, Master Zalel of Caliban, to defend.
The Tau launched a sneak attack deep into the daemons' lines, squads of Kroot and stealth teams nearly getting completely past the alpha legion's patrols in the area. The alarm was quickly raised by Veteran Sgt. Drazziel, a hardened veteran of Caliban, who was able to sound the alarm before coming under fire by the alien army. Because of Sgt Drazziel's quick action, Squad Satchiel of the Ravenwing was able to hold the eastern flank. The Alpha legion patrol unit Argos and the detachment of Silver Skull Havocs pressed the advantage on the western flank whilst under heavy fire. Patrol unit Octavio fared much worse. Their Rhino was tore to pieces even as they learned of the alien presence and as the vile Tau commander and bodyguard of dreaded Crisis Battlesuits fell from the sky, it looked as if the center would fall.
His squad destroyed, Veteran Sgt. Drazziel raced to the breaking center, cutting through the aliens heretical machinery, as the chime upon his back began to sing. The sing became a droning wail just as the mighty warrior came in sight of the alien commander, and eight enormous bodies suddenly appeared behind him. He dove to the floor, firing at the aliens just as a storm of bolter fire roared past into the alien leader's bodyguard. Alpha Legion Terminator Squad Drachus had arrived.
On the eastern flank, the Ravenwing had single handedly run through a hoard of Kroot and rushed the Broadside Battlesuits deep behind Tau lines, but at a heavy cost. Sgt. Satchiel was finally knocked from his steed by the energy pulse of a shield drone. The brave Ravenwing Sgt had held long enough, however, and his last sights before losing consciousness were of his Master, Ancient Zalel, soaring in from the south and the esteemed Cyclonius Du Mer hurtling down from the heavens.
The Tau commander, seeing his forces overrun made ready his retreat, but not before the fallen Squad Octavio's Sgt. Romethius unleashed his final trick, surrendering his very soul to the Keeper of Secrets, N'Kari, who quickly pursued the alien leader.
At the last moment, Ancient Zalel initiated the final facet of his plans. With the Terminators to the west, and Zalel himself to the east, it was easy for him to implant the idea that the north was the only road open into the Kroot shaper's brain. He watched in fiendish delight as the mighty Cyclonius was overrun by a massive wave of aliens and banished to the warp. His hold on the forces of the palace grounds was cemented.
Meanwhile, having linked up at the Palace Grounds with the forces of renegade Space Marine Captain Octavio Ferranus, formerly of the Imperial Fists, the forces of the Crusaders renegade Space Marine chapter began spreading out to capture important areas of the city. A large force of them moved south into Angel Square, led personally by the warp-infused monstrosity, Lord Agramon.
The Tau in the East had also moved into Angel Square, led by the young and inexperienced Commander M'yen. Forward elements of the Crusaders advanced force encountered a contingent of the Tau right around the massive building that served as a base for the majestic angel statue. At first the Tau brought a lot of firepower to bear on the small force of renegade marines that were the first to arrive. But due to their ability to coordinate supplies, resources, and tactical information with their allies led by Captain Ferranus, Lord Agramon managed to stage a perfectly timed counter-attack.
Lord Agramon himself arrived with substantial reinforcements at the critical moment to swing the balance of the fighting around the statue building. Having never faced forces of chaos before, Commander M'yen was caught unprepared for the shocking ferocity of the sudden attack.
The timing of the counter-attack was almost disrupted by some overzealous followers of Khorne, who in their eagerness to get to combat drove their rhino full speed and arrived at the building ahead of the other counter-attacking units. But even this turned out to benefit the renegade marines. As the rhino flew forward recklessly and wildly towards the center of the Tau advance, it drew fire from every Tau in the vicinity. Firing the smoke grenades and driving forward insanely into the hail of fire, the rhino managed to take an unbelievable amount of punishment before finally being destroyed by a Tau seeker missile.
But the Rhino had managed to draw fire from the bulk of the Tau army, allowing the beleaguered chaos marines huddling in the ruined buildings a chance to regroup without being fired on. Also, though the Khorne marines were flung from the smoking wreckage of the rhino right into the middle of the Tau advance, they were quickly rescued. A squad of terminators waiting in orbit above managed to lock onto the signal from the squad and teleport right into the midst of the Tau, where they could do the most damage. At the exact same time, Lord Agramon arrived with the rest of the reinforcements in the same area.
The Tau were overwhelmed with the shock of the massive firepower coming from all the reinforcements as well as from the other squads that had managed to move into better firing positions with the break in incoming fire. Most of the center of their battle line broke and ran, and the battle was lost. The Tau commander, with the little forces he had remaining, tried to hold his ground and fight back against the sudden chaos surge, but Lord Agramon personally put an end to that, badly damaging the Tau commander's battlesuit and leaving him badly injured. The Tau commander did manage to escape in a transport vehicle, but the renegade Marines were left solidly in control of Angel Square.